I am trying to make a crontab that makes a new .tar file each minute every business day by using the following code:

*/1 * * * 1,2,3,4,5 tar -cf /home/user/Archiv/$(date +"%Y%m%d%H%M").tar /home/user/Textverarbeitung/ -P

This doesn't work. Why?

  • I can't stop reading the title as "Make every archive minute using crontab" (minute as in small) because the article is missing (not OP's fault), so I'm fixing it.
    – cat
    May 11 '16 at 22:24
  • 3
    Why would you use */1? Isn't that the same as just *?
    – naught101
    May 12 '16 at 1:35

cron treats % as newlines. You need to use escape it i.e. use \% to get literal % as used in date.

So you need:

date +"\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M" 

Or you can use a script and use all the commands in the script and call the script from crontab.

From man 5 crontab:

Percent-signs (%) in the command, unless escaped with backslash (\), will be changed into newline characters, and all data after the first % will be sent to the command as standard input. There is no way to split a single command line onto multiple lines, like the shell's trailing "\".


Use \% instead of % - cron uses % as a newline.

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